Friday 25 November 2011

Church Architecture to be protected by Rome

The cathedral in Rio de Janerio, started in 1964.

Extraordinary - but not very beautiful.

A new Vatican commission under the Congregation for Divine Worship is to be established that will regulate church architecture. Reports here and here. The "Liturgical art and sacred music Commission" will, apparently, have the authority not just to recommend but to act with the authority of the Congregation. Let us hope so! Unfortunately it has come too late to prevent the purchase by the diocese of Orange USAof the "Glass Cathedral" - a building with no connection to the Church's liturgical traditions.

It happens that I was talking of this the other day with some friends and we were noting that such buildings did not begin, as is sometimes claimed, with the dawn of the Second Vatican Council. Things done in in its name may have exacerbated the problem but experimentation in church architecture deliberately moving away from any link with our history was well underway long before Vatican II. Have a close look at the dates of many churches that fit in to this category and the 1950's and early 60's are full of such experiments.

The famous chapel of Notre Dame du Haut, designed by Le Corbusier, in Ronchamp was completed in 1954.

Ronchamp - inside and out!

1 comment:

georgem said...

I stared for several minutes at the interior of Ronchamp and the more I stared the less I saw. It's not a place where I would want to tarry. The sad fact is that many of the clerics persuaded into "cutting-edge" church architecture are, aesthetically, as blind as bats. Poor people.